Fantasy Football Starts, Sits, Sleepers: Week 16

Fantasy Football Starts, Sits, Sleepers: Week 16

by December 25, 2021 1 comment

The best part about fantasy football is winning. The second best part is the draft. However, the draft has come and gone. Now fantasy owners struggle with the weekly decision about which players to start, which to sit, and which to use as a sleeper. To help with that, I will provide two starts, two sits, and two sleepers at each position every week. Be sure to reach out with any fantasy football questions you may have. Without further ado, let’s get started.

All stats are based on four-point per passing touchdown and PPR scoring.

Quarterbacks

START: Jalen Hurts vs New York Giants

The second-year quarterback has been great for fantasy owners this season. Hurts has scored at least 20 fantasy points in just under 70 percent of the games this year. Furthermore, he is coming off arguably his best game this season last week. He finished with 296 passing yards, three total touchdowns, and 27.6 fantasy points against the Washington Football Team. Tomorrow he has a great matchup against the Giants. While Dak Prescott only scored 10.6 fantasy points against the Giants last week, the Dallas Cowboys had the game in hand and leaned on the running game. However, the Giants have given up five passing touchdowns in their previous two games combined. Between the matchup and his rushing ability, Hurts might end this week as the top-scoring quarterback.

START: Russell Wilson vs Chicago Bears

Despite the poor fantasy performance last week, fantasy owners should feel confident starting Wilson this week. Last week, Wilson made the sit list as he historically struggles against the Los Angeles Rams. Over the previous three games, Wilson averaged two passing touchdowns and 19.1 fantasy points per game, scoring at least 16.7 fantasy points in every contest. More importantly, tomorrow’s matchup is very fantasy-friendly. The Bears have given up an average of 18.7 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks this season, the fifth-most in the NFL. They have given up at least two passing touchdowns in four straight games. Despite his poor performance last week, fantasy owners can start Wilson with confidence tomorrow.

SIT: Kirk Cousins vs Los Angles Rams

Cousins has been the ideal low-end QB1 all season long for fantasy owners. He has been very consistent, throwing at least two touchdowns in all but three games this season. However, Cousins has struggled to produce for fantasy owners lately. Over the past four weeks, Cousins has averaged 15.1 fantasy points per game. More importantly, he has scored under 16 fantasy points in three of those four games. Meanwhile, the Rams have held quarterbacks to only 15.6 fantasy points per game this season, the sixth-fewest in the NFL. Furthermore, they have held quarterbacks to zero passing touchdowns and only 9.6 fantasy points per game over the past three weeks. This week, Cousins belongs on the bench.

SIT: Derek Carr vs Denver Broncos

After a hot start to begin the season, Carr has fallen off a cliff recently. Since the bye week, he has scored under 12.5 fantasy points in five of seven games. More importantly, Carr has averaged only 12.5 fantasy points per game over the past five weeks, scoring more than 12.4 fantasy points only once. Furthermore, he has thrown only four touchdowns over the past five weeks compared to six turnovers. Unfortunately for Carr, things won’t turn around tomorrow. The Broncos have held quarterbacks to only 14.7 fantasy points per game this season, the third-fewest in the NFL. They have given up only two passing touchdowns and 12.3 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks over the past three weeks. At this point in the season, Carr belongs on the waiver wire.

SLEEPER: Tyler Huntley at Cincinnati Bengals

While fantasy owners were hoping Lamar Jackson would return this week, they will have to wait. Yesterday, the Baltimore Ravens announced Huntley would get the start despite missing practice Friday with an illness. Huntley has averaged 1.5 passing touchdowns, one rushing touchdown, and 25.6 fantasy points per game over the past two weeks. Furthermore, he had almost 300 total yards and four total touchdowns against the Green Bay Packers last week. Tomorrow, he takes on a Cincinnati defense that has given up an average of 16.7 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks this season. However, they have given up 20 or more fantasy points to quarterbacks in two of their past three games. Fantasy owners who need a replacement for Jackson, Huntley is an excellent option.

SLEEPER: Davis Mills vs Los Angeles Chargers

A few weeks ago, Mills was sitting on the bench, never likely to see the field again this season. However, the Texans made the switch back Mills a few weeks ago. Over the past two weeks, Mills has averaged 270 passing yards, 1.5 passing touchdowns, and 16.3 fantasy points per game. Furthermore, Mills has been the QB14 over the past two weeks. Meanwhile, the Chargers have given up an average of two passing touchdowns and 20 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks over their past six games. They have also given up an average of 2.5 passing touchdowns and 24 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks over the past two weeks. While Mills isn’t a top-12 quarterback this week, he is an excellent option for fantasy owners in super flex leagues.

Running Backs

START: Javonte Williams at Las Vegas Raiders

Over the past four weeks, Williams has averaged 16.8 rushing attempts for 75.3 rushing yards and 20.8 fantasy points per game. Furthermore, he has averaged 3.5 catches per game since the bye week, totaling at least three catches in three of those four contests. This week he takes on a Las Vegas run defense that gave up 91 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown, and 16.3 fantasy points to Nick Chubb last week. Furthermore, the Raiders have given up an average of 28.8 fantasy points per game to running backs this season, the third-most in the NFL. The Raiders have also given up an average of 106.8 rushing yards per game to running backs over the past 11 games. Expect a big performance from Williams tomorrow.

START: Clyde Edwards-Helaire vs Pittsburgh Steelers

Since coming back from a knee injury, Edwards-Helaire has averaged 13.8 fantasy points per game. Furthermore, he has averaged 54.4 rushing yards and 11.9 fantasy points per game this season. While those numbers aren’t eye-popping, CEH has a great matchup this week. The Steelers have given up an average of 26.1 fantasy points per game to running backs this season, the seventh-most in the NFL. Furthermore, running backs have averaged 157.3 rushing yards, 1.5 rushing touchdowns, and 36.4 fantasy points per game against the Steelers over the past six weeks. The Steelers have been one of the worst teams stopping the run lately, so expect the Chiefs to take advantage of it and feed Edwards-Helaire.

SIT: James Conner vs Indianapolis Colts

Not only is Conner questionable for tonight’s game with a heel injury, but he struggled last week with the return of Chase Edmonds. After averaging 22.2 fantasy points per game with Edmonds out of the lineup, Conner had only nine fantasy points last week despite a great matchup against the Detroit Lions. Furthermore, Conner had under 40 rushing yards in three of the past five games. Meanwhile, the Colts have held running backs to only 19.9 fantasy points per game this season, the fifth-fewest in the NFL. They have held running backs not named Leonard Fournette to only two rushing touchdowns and an average of 15.4 fantasy points per game over the past 11 games. After his strong play lately, Conner belongs on the bench this week against the Colts.

SIT: Myles Gaskin at New Orleans Saints

Last week, Gaskin was a popular start candidate thanks to a great matchup against the New York Jets. However, Duke Johnson stole the show, scoring 25.7 fantasy points. While Gaskin should take back the starting role this week, the matchup is far from fantasy-friendly. The Saints have held running backs to only 18.9 fantasy points per game this season, the second-fewest in the NFL. Furthermore, they have given up only one rushing touchdown to running backs over the past nine weeks. The Saints have held running backs to 70 or fewer rushing yards in six of their past nine games. Given the matchup this week against the talented Saints run defense, Gaskin belongs on the bench.

SLEEPER: Devin Singletary at New England Patriots

For most of the season, fantasy owners have avoided the Buffalo backfield. However, Singletary has taken over as the featured running back. Last week, he played 95 percent of the snaps while Matt Breida played only four percent. Furthermore, Singletary has led the Buffalo backfield in snaps played each of the past five games. More importantly, he has averaged 16.5 touches for 92.5 scrimmage yards and 15.8 fantasy points per game over the past two weeks. Tomorrow, he has a fantasy-friendly matchup. Over their past three games, the Patriots have given up an average of 158.7 rushing yards and 22.9 fantasy points per game to running backs. While he won’t have over 150 rushing yards in this game, Singletary is a top-20 running back this week.

SLEEPER: Devonta Freeman at Cincinnati Bengals

While the Ravens have struggled to put together wins lately, Freeman has been productive for fantasy owners. He has at least 52 rushing yards in three of his past four games. Furthermore, Freeman has averaged 50.4 rushing yards per game since the bye week. Over the past five weeks, Freeman has averaged 12.1 fantasy points per game, finishing as the RB16 during that span. Meanwhile, the Bengals have given up an average of 23.8 fantasy points per game this season to running backs, about a fantasy point a game higher than the NFL average. They have also given up nine rushing touchdowns to running backs this season. More importantly, they gave up over 120 rushing yards to the Denver running backs last week. This week, Freeman has top-20 upside.

Wide Receivers

START: Amari Cooper vs Washington Football Team

The veteran wide receiver has been inconsistent, scoring under 11 fantasy points in all but five games this season. Furthermore, he has scored under 9.5 fantasy points in four of the past five games, averaging only four targets per game in those contests. However, Cooper caught five of his seven targets two weeks ago against Washington, scoring 16.1 fantasy points. Tomorrow night, Cooper is in a great position to have a strong fantasy performance. Washington has given up an average of 38.7 fantasy points per game to wide receivers this season, the third-most in the NFL. They have also given up at least one touchdown to wide receivers in all but three games this season. Cooper has top-12 upside this week against a struggling Washington secondary.

START: Michael Pittman at Arizona Cardinals

After a strong this season, Pittman has struggled lately. Over the past four games, Pittman has averaged only 8.1 fantasy points per game, scoring under 9.5 fantasy points in all but one of those four games. However, he has faced some of the best defenses in the NFL during that span. Tonight, he has a great matchup. The Cardinals have given up an average of 36.3 fantasy points per game to wide receivers this season, the ninth-most in the NFL. Furthermore, they have given up an average of 18.5 catches for 218 receiving yards, 2.5 receiving touchdowns, and 56.1 fantasy points per game to wide receivers over the past two weeks. After struggling the past few weeks, Pittman is due for a bounce-back game tonight.

SIT: Chase Claypool at Kansas City Chiefs

Last week, Claypool had his worst game this season, totaling only 1.9 fantasy points. Despite the great matchup against the Tennessee Titans, Claypool had only two targets in the game last week. Furthermore, he has scored under 10.5 fantasy points in 58.3 percent of the games this season, including two of the past three games. Unfortunately for Claypool, things only get worse tomorrow. The Chiefs have held wide receivers to only 33.1 fantasy points per game this season, the ninth-fewest in the NFL. Furthermore, they have held wide receivers to only 30.4 fantasy points per game and three receiving touchdowns over the past four games. Given how Claypool played last week, fantasy owners should avoid starting him in this game.

SIT: Jakobi Meyers vs Buffalo Bills

While Kendrick Bourne went on the Covid-19 list Wednesday, he still has a chance to play tomorrow. With several New England wide receivers dealing with injuries, fantasy owners will slide Meyers into their starting lineup. However, that would be a mistake. Meyers has averaged 11.1 fantasy points per game this season, scoring over 11.5 fantasy points in only four games. By comparison, he has scored under 10 fantasy points in almost half the games this season. Meanwhile, the Bills have held wide receivers to only 26.1 fantasy points per game this season, the fewest in the NFL. They have also held wide receivers to 24.8 fantasy points per game over the past five weeks. This week, fantasy owners need to leave Meyers on the bench.

SLEEPER: Amon-Ra St. Brown at Atlanta Falcons

A few weeks ago, the Lions lost T.J. Hockenson for the season because of a hand injury. However, St. Brown has stepped up as the go-to receiver in Detroit. Over the past three weeks, St. Brown has averaged 8.7 catches on 11.7 targets for 83 receiving yards and 21.2 fantasy points per game, scoring two touchdowns in those games. More importantly, St. Brown has been the WR3 over the past three weeks, only behind Cooper Kupp and Justin Jefferson. Furthermore, his 35 targets over the past three weeks rank fourth in the NFL. Meanwhile, the Falcons have given up an average of 196.3 receiving yards and 43.2 fantasy points per game to wide receivers over their past three games. Given his recent play, St. Brown has top-12 upside this week.

SLEEPER: Van Jefferson at Minnesota Vikings

Despite his poor performance Tuesday, fantasy owners should feel confident starting Jefferson this week. Before last week, Jefferson had averaged 6.7 targets and 16.4 fantasy points per game in the previous three games. More importantly, he had one touchdown in each of those three contests. Furthermore, Jefferson averaged 6.7 targets per game over the past seven games before last week. Tomorrow, he has a very fantasy-friendly matchup. The Vikings have given up an average of 41.7 fantasy points per game to wide receivers this season, the most in the NFL. Furthermore, they have given up an average of 203.2 receiving yards, 1.2 receiving touchdowns, and 46.4 fantasy points per game to wide receivers over the past five weeks. Start all three Rams wide receivers tomorrow.

Tight Ends

START: Zach Ertz vs Indianapolis Colts

Since joining the Cardinals, Ertz has been the TE6, averaging 11.5 fantasy points per game. Furthermore, he has scored 13 or more fantasy points in just under half of those contests. Last week, he finished with a season-high 11 targets, catching six of them for 74 receiving yards while totaling 13.4 fantasy points. Furthermore, Ertz has averaged 14.1 fantasy points per game with Hopkins on the sidelines this season. Tonight he will have his best matchup of the year. The Colts have given up an average of 16.6 fantasy points per game to tight ends this season, the fourth-most in the NFL. Furthermore, they gave up a season-high 25.7 fantasy points and two touchdowns to Hunter Henry last week. Ertz has top-five upside this week against the Colts tonight.

START: Dallas Goedert vs New York Giants

While he scored only one fantasy point against the Giants a few weeks ago, Goedert has been unstoppable in his past two games. He has been the TE4 the past three weeks, averaging 24.5 fantasy points per game despite having the bye week during that span. Furthermore, Goedert had over 100 receiving yards in each of the past two games after having under 75 receiving yards in every other game this season. This week, he has a great matchup against the Giants. They have given up an average of 13.4 fantasy points per game this season to tight ends. However, they have given up an average of 14.6 fantasy points per game to tight ends over the past five games. Expect Goedert to keep up his strong play this week.

SIT: Dawson Knox at New England Patriots

Coming into the season, Knox was a fantasy afterthought. Surprisingly, he is the TE7 for the year, averaging 12.2 fantasy points per game. However, Knox has struggled lately, scoring under eight fantasy points in two of the last three weeks. Tomorrow, he has a tough fantasy matchup. The Patriots have held tight ends to only 6.7 fantasy points per game this season, the fewest in the NFL. They have held tight ends to under 7.5 fantasy points in all but three games this season. Furthermore, the Patriots have given up over 35 receiving yards to tight ends in only one of their past eight games. Knox had only 3.4 fantasy points against the Patriots earlier this season. Fantasy owners should expect a similar performance tomorrow.

SIT: Hunter Henry vs Buffalo Bills

Last week, Henry had a season-high 25.7 fantasy points against the Colts. He caught six of his eight targets for 77 receiving yards and two touchdowns in that game. However, Henry had scored under five fantasy points in the three games before last week. Furthermore, he has scored under 10 fantasy points in five of his past seven games. Meanwhile, the Bills have held tight ends to only 8.2 fantasy points per game this season, the third-fewest in the NFL. They have held tight ends under 8.5 fantasy points in five of the past six games. Furthermore, the Bills have given up only one touchdown to tight ends since Week 6. While he was great last week, Henry belongs on the bench this week against the Bills.

SLEEPER: Cole Kmet at Seattle Seahawks

On Monday night, Kmet had one of his best games this season, finishing with six catches for 71 receiving yards and 13.1 fantasy points. Furthermore, he has averaged eight targets per game over the past four weeks, seeing at least seven in three of those games. More importantly, Kmet has averaged 9.4 fantasy points per game over the past six games, scoring 13 or more fantasy points in half of those contests. This week, he takes on a Seahawks defense that has given up an average of 15.1 fantasy points per game to tight ends this season. They have given up 15.5 or more fantasy points to tight ends in three of the past five games. Expect Kmet to keep up his recent play against a struggling Seattle secondary.

SLEEPER: C.J. Uzomah vs Baltimore Ravens

Despite scoring under 10 fantasy points in seven straight games, Uzomah is an excellent option this week for fantasy owners. Over the past three weeks, he has averaged 5.3 targets per game. More importantly, Uzomah had 95 receiving yards, two touchdowns, and 24.1 fantasy points against the Ravens earlier this season. Meanwhile, the Ravens have given up an average of 16 fantasy points per game this season to tight ends. They have given up at least 14 fantasy points to tight ends in three of their past four games, including to the Packers tight ends last week. While the Bengals have an excellent trio of wide receivers, don’t be surprised if Uzomah scores at least one touchdown in this critical AFC North showdown.


Check us out on our socials:   
Twitter: @PTSTNews and @TalkPrimeTime
Facebook Page: Prime Time Sports Talk
Join our Facebook Group: Prime Time Sports Talk 
Instagram: @primetimesportstalk

Follow Mike Fanelli on Twitter @Mike_NFL2

Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images

Mike Fanelli is the Editor in Chief and fantasy football expert for Prime Time Sports Talk since 2018. He is a featured writer for FantasyPros. Follow him on Twitter @Mike_NFL2 and reach out anytime with any fantasy football questions.

1 Comment so far

Jump into a conversation

Leave a Reply